These are not precise comparisons of the recorders -- nor have I had an opportunity to record any live music with both. But maybe something is better than nothing. The first set of recordings are mono files of music playback. So the source has already been heavily processed and finally output from an RME FireFace and Behringer Truth monitors.
The second set are stereo recordings made about 50cm away from the source, me jangling a bundle of keys to get extreme transients. Both recorders were on low sensitivity, with inputs set to 5 (half way). (I note in passing that these recorders must have very different internal sound paths. One clue to this is that, when on high sensitivity, input zero registers a signal on the Olympus but not on the Sony.)
All recordings were made at 44.1KHz / 24 bit but have been normalised and reduced to 16 bits. I present the full PCM files since MP3 compression plays havoc with evaluating the true sound.
Since I normalised the files and didn't calibrate the inputs in any way, these recordings should not be used to evaluate the noise floor. But they might help get a feel for the frequency response and stereo sound stage. I can clearly hear the difference and prefer the boldness of the Olympus sound. It has more presence and a richer low end. On the other hand I am thinking the Sony has greater dynamic range and might hence better preserve transients.
I am not sure how long the file will be available on the hosting service, so grab it now if you would like to.
February 2012 update: This paragraph was prescient! I have re-upped to a different server. At least until the feds shut Mediafire down. ;-)
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